The second round of regional elections in Chile marked a harsh defeat for the right-wing Chile Vamos coalition of President Sebastián Piñera. Of the 13 positions in dispute, they won only one: Luciano Rivas, in Araucania. The others remained in left or center-left parties.
The vote, taken as the country goes through a difficult time in the pandemic and faces strict containment measures, with Santiago and other major cities liberalizing only essential activities, had a very low turnout – just 19 , 7% of the electoral scheme.
Since voting was no longer compulsory in Chile in 2012, no election has exceeded 50% turnout, with the exception of the referendum on the new Constitution in October last year, where a little over the half of the 51% of voters went to the polls.
The plebiscite, in which 78% of voters chose to replace the current Charter, inherited from dictator Augusto Pinochet, was a response to the intense protests that began in Chile at the end of 2019. The election of members of the Constituent Assembly in May this year, however, it did not reflect the fury in the streets, with a low attendance rate (42.5%).
Even so, the composition of the Constituent Assembly was a message to the Piñera government and to the traditional parties. Independent candidates won the most votes and won 65 of 155 seats. The ruling alliance, which competed on a single list, won only 37 of 155 seats, and the left, divided into two relations, won 53 seats.
During the regional elections this Sunday, the main protest took place in the agglomeration of Santiago, where a third of the population lives. There he won Claudio Orrego, of the Christian Democrats, who beat the Frente Amplio candidate, Karina Oliva. In Chile, the Christian Democracy is a center-left and progressive party, which played a leading role in the Concertación, the alliance that ruled the country for the 20 years following military rule (1973-1990 ).
The dispute was fierce, but Orrego won with 52.3% against 47.4% of the opponent.
In his victory speech, Orrego said he would make “a formal commitment to work with all mayors, whatever political color they represent. I want to ask that we improve our political coexistence and change the language. , to take care of our democracy. “
The post of regional governor is a novelty in Chile, which until now did not exist. Most of the decisions were taken from Santiago. From now on, there will be more decentralization of power.
Chile is now entering a race for national elections. The primaries take place from July 18, while the presidential and congressional renewal on November 21.